How Thick Is Your Bubble? Or: Rich White People, Please Get It Together
Bizarre stuff from bubble-encased New York Times columnist David Brooks, who excitedly tells us we must all read Charles Murray's Coming Apart, which explains that what's wrong with America isn't gross economic inequity and joblessness exacerbated by an unfair tax structure, a corrupt ruling class, a gutted welfare state and an increasingly powerless working class, but rather "vast behavioral gaps" between two "tribes," a "divergence that puts the success of the American project at risk." Remarkably, both tribes are white: There are poor white people, who are getting fat and pagan and watching too much TV because don't forget they don't have any jobs, and there are rich white people, who are failing to teach them "the values, practices and institutions that lead to achievement." Thus, the failure of the empire. (God knows where all the black and brown people have gone to here, but anyway.) To figure out how you are contributing to the fall of our great nation by your cultural isolation, Murray's website at the American Enterprise Institute offers a helpful quiz on how mainstream you are by asking, say, how often you go to NASCAR races. Gawker has kindly done the quiz on behalf of all the Republican candidates to find out who will save us. Alas, they find that the most mainstream NASCAR-ish candidate is the Muslim Kenyan socialist guy, which could be problematic all around.